While in Tamil Nadu, I fell in love with the old houses. They often have terraces on which people can sleep on hot nights. There is often a palm tree roof or a palm tree room on the terrace.
Doors are decorated at the bottom with yellow and red paint, which is supposed to be auspicious, and above them the God of the house is sculpted ; you might find a heart for a Christian, a David star for a Jew, an elephant for a Hindu etc...
Each day, women wake up early to prepare breakfast and clean the house. When they have finished they draw lucky kolams in front of their doors. Traditionnally these were made using rice flour to feed insects and birds, nowadays people use chalk or paint.
I learnt a lot about these houses in the superb Dakshina Chitra village museum, and wandering through Pondicherry's streets on foot.